27/07/2013

Running on a Saturday? Whatever next! Or…

The Orange Appeal for Osteoporosis 10K Greenwich Park Race Review

The lack of training for the Berlin Marathon (in 9 weeks) has forced me take a new direction and register for a lot of back to back races. I now have 3 in 3 weeks (all 10s) to get me up to speed. Today, a Saturday, I ran Greenwich Park, in South East London on the course that I ran back in November for the Movember run, this time for the National Osteoporosis Society.

It was called the Orange Appeal, and everyone was asked to wear Orange (something my Dutch anti-Monarchists took offence to). I only own one item of Orange clothing, the MS Society vest I wore for my first Half Marathon, the Royal Parks half back in October so I was set.

Saturday… WTF?

I have never raced on a Saturday before. And, as I sit here, typing the race review on a Saturday, knowing I can put my feet up tomorrow is weird. I am thinking I have work tomorrow, when I don’t. I had better turn off the alarm. I keep catching myself thinking it is Sunday.

Still, it is novel to have the whole weekend free now to recover, so here’s to running Saturdays in the future.

The Event…

The race was organised by Ace Race Events and, as I climbed the hill from the Cutty Sark up by the Greenwich Observatory I noticed many a race marshal and volunteer preparing to point people around the zigzagging course. *Greenwich Park is not all that big, and has a couple of painful hills, so most races here will need a couple of laps at least.

The Run…

I hurt myself back in Torbay during the half. The double calf cramp clearly was more than just that as my right calf still doesn’t feel right, or strong, and I have an eye on it the whole time. It was also supposed to rain all day, but those numb skulls at the Met Office couldn’t even get that right, when brilliant blue skies and 28 degree heat were apparent.

The race was to start at 9:30, but registration opened at 8am because the runners were not mailed their timing chips and bibs. I live a fair hike away so was up at quarter to seven to be ready. I stretched, ate breakfast, stretched my calf some more, showered, tea, stretched calf and made way over via the DLR (Docklands Light Railway).

With the rain clouds nowhere to be seen I was pretty unhappy as I wore my short sleeved Nike under armour under my orange vest. It made the heat intolerable. I was tempted to dump it.

After dropping my bag off at the Bag Drop (the band stand in the center of the park), I stretched a lot, mostly my calf, right up to the start of the race and perhaps the worst Warm Up I have experienced. There was much too much waving, and shimmying side to side, there was no marching on the spot, or stretching out the calves, the quads, the glutes, or loosening up the shoulders that I would expect a race to want.

And then, without much ado, we were off.

It was a slightly different course, and I think I liked it more. We did run that bastard of a hill that runs up the centre of the park TWICE! but the rest was nice. I walked quite a bit and swore I will get in better shape for the next one.

I could have run 10-15 minutes faster. I could have walked a lot less. But my year isn’t a sprint, to coin a phrase, it is a marathon. This is all part of getting ready for Berlin, and I was not going to push myself on a small charity run when I have much bigger fish to fry.

So how did I do?

In November my injured post-Amsterdam and Royal Park 10K around Greenwich Park looked like this.

Whereas today, I ran this… With lot’s of red showing where I walked due to heat and calf cramp paranoia. Still 5 mins faster. (Ignore the 9.8KM as I think the course was measured in the middle of the track, not around the edges). Also, there is a lot more red because there were two laps, and I am not sure how Nike+ overlays 2 laps on same route. Interesting question though.

The Bling…

It is clearly the year for Summery bling. The medal is a nice bright orange square that has the race organisers on the front and back and not the event, which I do not like, but the event is on the bright orange ribbon. Square, rather than the bog standard round. Looks lovely near to the sunny Torbay half medal on the Bling rack.

Yes, that is sweat on my brow

Would I Run it Again? 

I would not, but I would recommend it, or any of the other races at Greenwich. The organisers did a good job, there were water stations when needed, plenty of volunteers, bag drop, really decent goodie bag (Tea Pigs Teas, Osteocare vitamins, Jelly babies, Sudocrem, Jointace Gel, a tape measure, a vitamin pill pot – no water or bananas, or crunchy savory snacks though).

Next Up – The Run for Like 10K York – for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal


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